Apps have become a common part of our everyday lives and we now use them for everything from checking the weather to playing games to pass the time on our daily commute, no matter what mobile platform we happen to be utilizing.
According to comScore, mobile app downloads will hit the 65 billion mark this year, while 88 per cent of the activity on smartphones and tablets now stems from apps.It is therefore no surprise that these tools are being used in the travel and tourism industry as a way of making planning, booking and taking holidays more convenient. Travel apps making their markIndeed, TripAdvisor found that this is now the seventh most downloaded app category, with 60 per cent of global smartphone users possessing some kind of travel app and 45 per cent using them regularly to organise their breaks. Some 30 per cent of respondents to the survey said they use apps to find the best hotel deals, 15 per cent download them to plan a trip ahead and 62 per cent make the most of them to search for nearby eateries once they are at their destination.
Apps are ideal for tourists because they’re likely to have their smartphones in their pockets anyway and the apps downloaded onto them mean they can carry resources like guidebooks, compasses, maps and much more – without the bulk and extra bags that would once have been associated with doing this.Meanwhile, travel apps have completely shifted the way travel companies view smart devices, allowing them to recognise that they are tools for continuous communication with travellers and would-be hotel guests. Simple downloads can enhance their efficiency and competitiveness in an increasingly crowded marketplace, helping them to get their name ‘out there’ with minimum effort. What types of apps?
There are scores and scores of useful apps for the travel industry, starting with those used by hotels to confirm bookings, provide reservation documents and allow guests to check in, queue-free, once they arrive. These are becoming more popular because they suit the way internet users like to receive information: quickly and seamlessly. However, they also benefit hotels because they reduce the number of personnel necessary to carry out simple tasks like taking credit card details.
Other popular app types include those that provide information about resorts and destinations that travellers can use based on their location. These can replace traditional guidebooks because they’re more interactive and can use GPS data to suggest places to visit and other useful information.One particular app worth a mention here is the new Google Trips, which uses people’s Gmail information to work out where they are going on holiday and then comes up with day trip recommendations It even factors in things like time to travel from place to place so that users can enjoy fun-packed days out and make the most of their time away. These are just a few of the types of travel-themed apps available and it is well worth taking a look in application stores to see what else is on the market.The future for travel apps Companies across the globe are already using or coming up with apps of their own that will appeal to their audiences and make life easier and more convenient for travellers. They can represent a good return on investment for relatively little expenditure, which is why they aren’t just for larger corporations any longer.Moving forward, it’s likely that hotel mobile apps development will closely follow the evolution of new technology in order to create new tools for travellers to use on and before their breaks.
Experts believe that augmented reality is likely to become big news in the coming years, with AR apps predicted to bring in $120 billion of revenue by 2020. AR uses 3D images, videos and animations incorporated into user environments, so could be hugely useful for hotel owners in terms of providing guided tours of their properties and similar functions.Wearable technology is also growing at a rapid rate and is likely to impact the way we use our smartphones in the future, so is sure to be incorporated into the world of apps by enterprising developers. Technology is constantly changing the landscape of almost every industry and travel is no exception. To stay competitive, businesses in this sector are going to have to innovate and come up with new ways to serve their customers, which might include creating customised apps. Businesses that can launch an app that proves to be successful are likely to be better connected to their customer base, so why not get in touch with developers or have a go at creating your own mini-programs?